Former Olympic gymnast opening gym on east side - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Former Olympic gymnast opening gym on east side

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Jaycie Phelps Jaycie Phelps
Phelps won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Phelps won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Construction continues on the athletic facility on Olio Road. Construction continues on the athletic facility on Olio Road.

Anne Marie Tiernon/Eyewitness News

Greenfield - Olympic golden girl Jaycie Phelps is back in Indiana, running her own athletic center.

The gymnast-turned-coach just signed the lease on an east side space she's turning into a multi-use sports facility.

"If you look around here now, it's hard to believe that we will be ready to go in two weeks," said Phelps' father, Jack. "But a week from Sunday, the 15th, we'll be ready to go."

Crews are digging the pits for trampolines and foam for landing off a vault at a massive 25,000 square foot multi-purpose athletic development facility on Olio Road.

"To be able to do it and put my name on it and call it mine is something that I've always dreamed of," Phelps said.

Now 30 years old, it's been 14 years since Phelps made international headlines, capturing women's team gymnastics gold as part of the "Magnificent 7" at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She keeps the gold near her nightstand. To her, it symbolizes a journey of patience and passion and teamwork.

"I just feel real fortunate that I had the family that I had. Some people don't get that support and I got it from everyone," Phelps said. "My mom and dad, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, cousins and my brother."

All are celebrating a homecoming. After a dozen years of stints coaching in Arizona, Colorado and Texas, Jaycie is moving back home.

"As a parent, you know it just doesn't get any better," Jack Phelps said.

After the painting wraps up, next will be the carpet for gymnastics and turf for baseball and softball for all levels. The theme of the facility is red, white and blue.

"David Marus, who is my coaching partner, we both have that goal as a coach to get a kid on a national team and then a world team and then an Olympic team," Phelps said. "I think with the programming we have, that we have the ability to do it."

The new gym is a new rival for two local gyms that generated two Olympians in 2008. But undaunted, Jaycie says competition makes everyone better. The Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center - "JPAC" for short - aims to enroll 350 athletes by the end of the year.

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